18 September 2013

There to lend a hand

(Today's guest blog comes from my friend Peggy Dold. Peggy and I first met when we were both living in New York and were at Billboard. We lost touch for a bit, but over the last few years have renewed our friendship in Los Angeles, much to my delight.-- Melinda)

When Melinda and I first discussed the idea of my contributing some ideas for her daily blog of charitable giving, I was beyond excited.

After all, we each know of a million organizations that are doing great work for others, most of which, I’m sure, need every single penny they can get.

Nevertheless, it took about two minutes for the vastness of this task to sink in:  there are so many organizations doing such good work that trying to select one is a bit daunting.  Do we give to children, to health, to animals, to people enduring hardship (temporary or permanent), food banks, literacy, education, homeless, international relief, disaster relief, local, global, the environment, civil rights, culture, the arts, health, etc?  

My family is from Oklahoma, and while I never spent more than family vacations and one summer there, I have always felt a strong familial connection to the state.  I couldn’t have been more thrilled when an NBA franchise (the OKC Thunder) moved to Oklahoma.  (Yay! A new NBA team to root for, besides the usual suspects in the big markets.)  In fact, when I left New York City (after living there for almost fifteen years), it was to the Sooner state I went, where I established a temporary home,  where I got to know my wonderful relatives, and where I rekindled my  relationship with the man who is now my husband.

A few years ago, a distant family member, a retired RN living in Oklahoma, was volunteering for FEMA.  While she was working at a FEMA site in Louisiana, she had a freak accident, broke her back, and is now paralyzed.

FEMA airlifted her to Oklahoma City where she endured surgery after surgery, rehabilitation after rehabilitation, and where her family (from near and far, none of whom lived in Oklahoma City), stayed by her side for MONTHS.

It was in this scenario that I learned about the Disaster Relief Team arm of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention.  They found housing for my cousin’s family so that they could take turns to be by her side for the many months she was undergoing treatment in OKC . This was a huge gift to her family as they were hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of miles from their own homes, jobs, and families.

In appreciation for the support this wonderful organization gave to my family during their challenging time, I recommend that Causes and Effect donate today’s gift to the Disaster Relief Team arm of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention. 

I am not Baptist and do not see this donation as donating to a church or to a religion.  Rather, I see a relief team of people who are at ground zero when tragedy strikes, whether it was for my cousin or more recently following the devastating tornado in Moore.   I have no doubt that they know what to do and are working to help those who need it the most.  

-Peggy Dold

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